Adult Bible Study – Starts December 5
Sundays after Worship: 11:15am in Ronnencamp Hall
However, we will continue to email to those that wish. Contact Frank or Sue at firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to get the Bible Study lessons emailed to you or want to learn more about the class.
Email Frank Here for the weekly Bible Study materials
Justice, Law, History
The study focuses on Old Testament scriptures and the interaction between the ideal of justice, God’s pursuit of justice in history, and God’s gift of the law that allows humans to join in justice’s pursuit. Justice flows from the heart and character of the God of Israel. The community of faith that gathers in God’s name will display that very same character.
The first four sessions explore how leaders of God’s people must rely on God’s law as they administer justice. Deuteronomy demands that God’s people be just and equitable. This call is rooted in the memory of God’s deliverance of the people from slavery. In 2 Samuel, King David demonstrates justice by showing kindness to Mephibosheth, allowing his table to be set in the presence of his enemy. Isaiah describes a reign of justice and righteousness where war loses its primacy. Through the prophet Nahum, God metes out justice to Judah’s enemies. Thus, justice and judgement gop together in the divine plan.
The next five sessions focus on God’s justice in the live of God’s people and in the gift of the law. Stories in Genesis reveal God’s justice in the face of human violence and exclusion. Included are stories of Cain’s murder of his brother Abel as well as Hagar and Ishmael being cast out of Abraham’s household. Exodus shows the way justice looks when the ten commandments are applied to everyday life. In Deuteronomy, judges, officials, and priests work together to administer justice for God’s people. Furthermore, Deuteronomy demands justice for marginalized people.
The last four sessions deal with situations in which justice seems absent. In 2 Samuel, Nathan condemns David for his acts of injustice toward Uriah the Hittite, Bathsheba’s husband. In Ezra, after years of exile in Babylon, Ezra returns to Jerusalem and determines to restore respect for God’s law. The voice of a foreign king sounds in these passages. Sessions 12 and 13 explore the book of Job and the way suffering calls into question not only simplistic spirituality but even our best understandings of how God’s justice and power stand in relation to real evil.
A special feature of this study is access to biblical storytellers whose craft brings out the energy and emotions in which those stories marinate. Their tone and sense of presence revel the character of God and how the law functions as a wise invitation to a blessed way of living in the history in which God has placed us.
Through this study may we experience the depth the Old Testament provides us in shaping faithful living in the presence of the ever-faithful God.
Phil Ruge-Jones is a pastor of Grace Lutheran, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and director of the Lay Scholl of Ministry for the Northwesr Synod of Wisconsin of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. This is his eighth contribution to the AABS series. Like the collaborators he has gathered for this study, he is a member of the Network of Biblical Storytellers, International.
For the Grace Weekly Update
Lesson 1 Dec. 5 Justice and Obedience to the Law Deuteronomy 5:1b-3;
Lesson 2 Dec. 12 David Administers Justice and Kindness 2 Samuel 9:1-7, 9-12
Lesson 3 Dec. 19 Justice and Righteousness Reign Isaiah 9:2-7
Lesson 4 Dec. 26 Justice for God’s Beloved People Nahum 1:1-3, 6-8,
Lesson 5 Jan. 2 Justice, Vengeance, and Mercy Genesis 4:1-13
Lesson 6 Jan. 9 Hagar and Ishmael Not Forgotten Genesis 21:8-20
Lesson 7 Jan. 16 The Laws of Justice and Mercy Exodus 23:1-12
Lesson 8 Jan. 23 Justice, Judges, and Priests Deuteronomy 16:18-20;
Lesson 9 Jan. 30 Justice and the Marginalized Deuteronomy 24:10-21
Lesson 10 Feb. 6 Nathan Condemns David 2 Samuel 12:1-9, 13-15
Lesson 11 Feb. 13 Ezra Seeks God’s Law Ezra 7:1-10, 13-26
Lesson 12 Feb. 20 Bildad Misunderstands God’s Justice Job 8:1-10, 20-22
Lesson 13 Feb. 27 God’s Ways Are Just Not Our Ways Job 42:1-6,10-17